Tuesday, July 26, 2022

High Court reporters

A woman who sued after falling off a hotel stage at an employee awards ceremony withdrew a €180,000 loss of earnings claim as she settled her High Court action.

Teresa Fermoyle worked for Jurys Inn at Christchurch in Dublin until the accident when she fell off the stage and allegedly hurt her back at a ceremony in Scotland where she got an employee long service award.

She sued her employer and the Scottish hotel which hosted the awards event five years ago.

The settlement of the case on Tuesday came after a cross-examination by counsel for the defendants Finbarr Fox SC with Shane English BL and Ali Bracken Ziad BL.

Teresa Fermoyle (61), of Drumcliffe Road, Cabra, Dublin, had sued her employer, Jurys Inns Group, with offices at Ballsbridge, Dublin, and the owners of the Hilton Doubletree Hotel in Glasgow, Amaris Hospitality, with offices at Pembroke Road, Ballsbridge, as a result of the accident on February 22nd, 2017.

She claimed that many more employees were called on to the stage during the employee award ceremony. She was allegedly required to move back to make more space and fell off the stage.

She further claimed she continues to have lower back pain and she had not been able to return to work.

All the claims were denied and it was contended there was contributory negligence on Ms Fermoyle’s behalf in that she allegedly did not heed the back of the stage and she allegedly failed to pay any or any adequate attention as to where she was standing or moving to.

On the second day of the hearing cross-examined by Finbarr Fox SC, Ms Fermoyle said as she was sitting down she was in pain.

“I am always in constant pain,” she told the court.

Surveillance videos

Shown stills from surveillance videos taken of her shopping at different locations, she said: “I am trying to live a normal life, I am not a hermit. I have to eat.”

Counsel put it to her that on one occasion she was pushing a shopping trolley that looked “rather full” and was carrying another bag.

Ms Fermoyle replied that it did not mean she was not in pain.

Counsel put it to Ms Fermoyle that she could not be described as somebody in constant pain, that it simply was not the case.

“It is the case,” she replied.

Counsel put it to her that she had stated she did not have any other income other than social welfare but he put it to her that she was “running a rental business from her home.”

“I am not. It sounds as if I am making millions. I am not,” Ms Fermoyle said. She said she had rented out a room to cover her bills but had not said it because she did not think it was relevant. She said it was only “small money and it was not income like going to a factory.”

Counsel put it to Ms Fermoyle she never disclosed she was making money out of a rental business, Ms Fermoyle replied it was “not big money.”

She also said she had a lot of family staying in her home. Counsel put it to her that “she hardly has family from Latin America.”

Mr Fermoyle answered that she has family from Italy.

When the case resumed in the afternoon, Mr Justice Paul Coffey was told the case had been settled and could be struck out and the loss of earning claim had been withdrawn.

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